Office hours: Monday - Friday, 9.00 - 17.00 EDT (UTC-04)
Responsible Travel Group
Chair: Rhonda Martin, United States of America
My interest in Travel Medicine developed after years of practicing in a variety of nursing specialties; general ward, ICU/Emergency, research, and management. In 1998, I volunteered at the CIWEC Travel Medicine Center in Kathmandu, Nepal then subsequently attended the Diploma in Travel Medicine Program at the University of Glasgow , Scotland the following year. Currently, I am working at the Travel Medicine Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Along side Travel Medicine is my involvement in global health programs in Rwanda, Nepal, and the Dominican Republic as well as Wilderness Medicine, earning a Wilderness First Responder Certificate, and Endurance Sports Medicine. I participated in a high altitude research project on Pikes Peak Colorado in 2002 and presented the research findings in a poster at CISTM 2003 New York. In 2004, I went on to participate in a larger clinical trial research project in the Everest region of Nepal through the Himalayan Rescue Association.
I believe that Travel Medicine is a practice that pulls together and converges other specialties of Wilderness Medicine, Global Health, Tropical Medicine, and Conservation medicine--or One Health, all creating an awareness of responsible travel.
Immediate Past Chair: Susanna Maybin, England, United Kingdom
Dr Susanna Maybin has a background in primary health care and public health and has experience of working in a variety of settings both in the UK and overseas. This included working with the International Grenfell Association in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador, and Save the Children Fund UK where she worked in refugee settings (Thai Lao border and Nepal), and Maternal and Child Health (Nepal). She has also worked as a Trek Doctor in the Andes and Himalayas for several companies.
This work stimulated an interest in Travel Medicine and for the last 21 years she has been based in the UK where she works as Medical Adviser to Voluntary Service Overseas, providing advice and medical support both to the organisation and to the volunteers who are situated in more than 40 different countries. In the last few years she also spent several years as medical adviser to International Service, a small UK based volunteer sending agency.
She is a founder member of the Faculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow.
Jim Bond, Scotland, United Kingdom
Zambian native & adopted Scot, currently based in Edinburgh, where I am a partner in a specialist travel clinic and also run an expedition consultancy service. Trained in both Medicine and Botany, I have since worked both as a public health doctor and ethnobotanist in rural South Africa, Madagascar and Mozambique. Helped to set up a fully ambulatory TB project with the elusive and transhumant Mikea forest people in SW Madagascar, as well as a fair-trade honey project and a community conservation area (now a new national park). Led and/or acted as expedition doctor to a number of research and adventure expeditions since, all with a strong focus on community participation. I have worked in/with the safari business intermittently since my teens, latterly helping to pioneer community-led canoe and dhow tourism initiatives in Madagascar and Northern Mozambique. I also wrote a chapter on the Ethics of Expedition Medicine for an Oxford Handbook, and facilitated a workshop for three years on the same at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
Rodney Itaki, Papua New Guinea
Trish Smith, Australia
The Responsible Travel Interest Group Charter
- The Responsible Travel Interest Group (Formerly the Destinations Communities Support Group) has responsibility for promoting the development of travel medicine and the ISTM among countries traditionally considered host countries
- The Responsible Travel Group is charged with identifying and raising awareness of social, environmental, cultural and health issues caused by travel and tourism within destination communities and with the responsibility to encourage and conduct research and develop strategies to protect local destination communities from negative impacts through tourism
- The Responsible Travel Group will work with other ISTM committees and groups in areas of mutual interest especially membership, research, health of migrants and refugees, the travel industry and public education committees
If you have suggestions regarding any aspect below or new ideas for the Responsible Travel Group to consider, please direct your comments to the current Chair. We look forward to hearing from you!
Special Interest Areas
Ethics in Tourism: Jim Bond, Irmgard Bauer
Sex Tourism: Irmgard Bauer
Voluntourism: Sheila Hall, Irmgard Bauer
Health Voluntourism: Rhonda Martin, Susanna Maybin, Irmgard Bauer
Dr Nikolic Neboja – Maritime Medicine
Dr Michael Muehlenbein – Ecotourism, One Health
Recent and Current Activities
A primary focus of our group is on raising awareness of destination community issues and encouraging networking among interested members at ISTM Regional Meeting and International Congresses.
Recent Responsible Travel related presentations and workshops given by group members at regional and international conferences have focused on voluntourism, and sex and romance tourism. An interactive workshop about ethical dilemmas on expeditions and safaris is currently being planned for the SASTM conference in September 2016.
Members of the group can interact through the group discussion forum and we are looking at ways to promote this. We are also working on a list of references to add to the group page library for those members interested in learning more about Responsible Travel related subjects.
Following the success of the Responsible Travel stand at the ISTM International Conference in Quebec in May 2015 where members were able to meet with Responsible Travel council members and discuss effects and challenges of travel and tourism for host communities, we plan to repeat the stand at future conferences.
Participation in the ISTM charities donation programme.
Presentations and workshops at regional and international Travel Medicine conferences including a pre-conference course at CISTM13. Topics have included sex tourism, exploited hosts, voluntourism, impact of tourism on developing countries, ecotourism and medical tourism.
Exhibition highlighting the condition of porters in Nepal at CISTM7.
Initiative securing sponsorship to sponsor eight health care professionals from destination countries to attend CISTM7 and CISTM9.
Member Survey 2011 to enable the council to move forward on projects to serve group members.
ISTM bookmark with 7 tips for the Responsible Traveller.
Information Sheets from CISTM14
- Health voluntourism information sheet
- Nature based tourism information sheet
- Sex tourism information sheet
Group newsletters, minutes of meeting and information references relating to responsible travel can be found in the library section of the group member page.
**These references have been recommended by group members. They do not necessarily represent the full picture of the topic under discussion and should therefore serve only as a starting point for those who wish to learn more about issues relating to responsible travel. Responsible Travel Council February 2017.**
We would like to hear from you. Please email your ideas, comments and suggestions to Susanna Maybin. Group members are invited to get in touch via the Responsible Group discussion forum.